An Inside View Into The Difference Between Homeowners and Vacant Property Insurance

Too often, homeowners don’t realize that if they leave their home vacant for a specific period of time, they are leaving themselves unprotected in the event of a loss. A vacant property is one without any personal property in it. Properties are left vacant for a number of reasons: A client may have moved into a new home and has yet to sell or rent the existing one, or a relative may have inherited a home but doesn’t live there.

Homeowners insurance does not provide coverage if the home is considered vacant – that is, if it’s left empty for a specified period of time, typically up to 30 to 60 days. For example, it won’t cover the property if it’s vacant for a loss due to a fire or water damage. An insured should purchase Vacant Property insurance for proper protection, which can be done either by an endorsement to a homeowner's policy or purchased as a separate policy.

Vacant Properties Come With Increased Risks

The reason for Vacant Property insurance in lieu of a homeowner's policy is simple: A vacant home is at greater risk for certain losses when no one is home for an extended time period. For example, if a pipe ruptures, major water damage may occur if no one is there to intervene. If there is a fire and the home is vacant with no one there to report it, more than likely there will be greater property damage. Vacant properties are also more exposed to the risk of a break-in and vandalism and are targets for squatters.

Vacant Property insurance provides coverage for damage from fire, explosion, smoke, lightning, wind, and hail along with water intrusion, vandalism, and theft or break-ins. A Vacant Property policy is written for a specific period of time.

Integrated Specialty Programs (ISC) offers insurance for all occupancy types – from owner-occupied to seasonal/secondary, tenant-occupied, vacant property, vacant under renovations, occupied renovation, and builder’s risk. This enables you to provide coverage to clients whether they are living in their primary residence full time, own a vacation home, rent a home, are in-between homes and have left a home vacant, or are undergoing renovations.